Pres: CAPT W. Spencer Johnson IV, USN (Ret.)
Sec'y: Michael H. Shelley
25 Sweetwater Lane, Pisgah Forest, NC 28768
h: 828-862-4245 e: email@example.com
Web site: http://www.usna63.org.
|Kit Karson||Helen Blackledge||Bill Henghold|
|Roommates reunite in Yuma|
The smiling trio are myself, Bill Opitz, and Ed Howard (looking pretty much as we did 2nd Class Year when we were roommates). Bill and Judy have a neat place in Yuma where they "winter over" from Helena, MT. Ed converged from the east (Phoenix) with Marion and me from the west (San Diego). We enjoyed a few excellent days together reliving the past and making plans for the future. The golf was highlighted by completion with no serious injuries.
Every year that Army wrestles Navy at Annapolis (the even years) we have a team reunion. This year the match fell on the same weekend as the USNA/USMA/USAFA Classes of '63 Valentine's Dance at the Army-Navy Country Club in Arlington, VA. Some of our classmates had a tough decision -- and lost. Carla and Jeff Miles went to the dance. Fortunately, Lisa was working at a women's symposium at the Virginia Beach Conference Center so I got to choose the wrestling match. The only '63 rasslers present were Ron Tebben, Steve Duncan, and me. I think Ron is close to his original rasslin' weight. Steve claims to be "a few pounds over" -- a prevarication for sure. Me, I won't answer the question -- I know my Miranda rights! Navy, ranked 19th nationally, won the 50th match 24-9, bringing our record against Army to 40 wins, 5 losses, and 5 ties. After the match, we had an "awards" ceremony for the alumni: best cauliflower ear; fattest neck; traveled farthest to get there; farthest above wrestling weight; closest to wrestling weight; most grand children; first on and last on the mat for coaches Swartz, Peery, Hicks, etc. Since Ron and Steve left early, I won the "first on the mat for Ed Peery" by default. Ed started as coach in 1960. He still looks to be in great shape. I certainly wouldn't challenge him today.
|Lou Shelley with Bob and Carol Harper|
Following the aftermath of Hurricane "Katrina", my wife, Geraldine, and I sold our Mandeville, LA, home on the north shore of Lake Pontchartrain and moved to Signal Mountain, TN (a suburb of Chattanooga). After evacuating from Mandeville two years in a row (2004 for "Ivan" and 2005 for "Katrina"), we decided to move to a mountaintop far enough away and high enough so we could watch the 2006 hurricane season in peace and on TV! We will continue to live six months of each year at our other home in Australia.
Thanks for all your e-mail messages, prayers, parcels and other items during my 23 months working on Iraq Reconstruction projects for electrical power and water treatment. It has been a challenge in many ways. Yet thanks to our US and Coalition military forces and our FluorAMEC security teams, l have not feared for my life [more than a few times] or those on our team. The Iraqis who work with us are truly the brave ones as they move daily from the Red to Green Zone and then back to their homes after work.
In the summer of 1962 during our leave after First Class cruise, Ron Walters and I purchased a 1949 Chevy for $50 from Walt's older brother in Hays, KS. We named it "St. Christopher" because we weren't sure it would make it from Kansas to Annapolis. We figured that if it didn't we'd just leave it in a ditch somewhere in Ohio and hitchhike the rest of the way. We loaded up the trunk with numerous cases of Coors beer (couldn't get Coors on the east coast then), and a cooler full of iced-down cans in the back seat, and headed east. When the cooler was empty, we'd replenish it from the trunk. We figured that we averaged a beer about every 27 miles during the trip. We threw the empties on the back seat floor. By the time we reached DC, the pile of empties had reached the level of the back seat.
We found a garage for rent just off West Street in a shabby part of Annapolis, about a mile from the Academy. Since we were always short of money back then, we coerced several more members of the Sixth Company to become part owners of "Chris". As I recall the ownership consisted of Walt, Dick Williams, Jim Carter, Bob Borlet, Bill Hughes, Lionel Banda, and me. Our combined resources allowed for insurance payments, garage rent, and gas. You might think that having multiple owners would cause problems, but it turned out that we usually all went on liberty together anyway. Liberty usually meant going to Dave's Corner, a combination feed store and bar/restaurant, and low rent dump in Mayo Beach, MD, which was either right inside the 7 mile limit, or right outside it. Either way we were in violation -- outside the liberty limits or drinking within the limits.
Here's how it usually worked. After Saturday evening meal formation we would all head out the gate and walk to the garage. We'd back Chris out a little and leave the headlights on so we could see inside the garage. Sweatshirts and levis hung from nails in the walls. We changed in the garage. As the doors closed you could see overcoats and white covers on the nails in place of the civvies. We'd head for Dave's and spend the evening drinking cheap, watered down beer and eating greasy hamburgers. They had no idea that we were Mids with our high and tight haircuts, inside out Navy sweatshirts, levis, and spit shined shoes. Then we'd head back and go through everything in reverse at the garage and stagger back to Bancroft Hall. There were many other adventures with Chris during First Class year, but those are for telling at another time.
Before graduation we "sold" Chris to a member of the Class of '65 for ten cents, fully expecting it to crap out before the summer ended. Much to our surprise, Chris was still around when '65 graduated, and it was handed down to a member of '66. For all I know it is still sitting beside a back road in Annapolis as a home for a family of illegal immigrants.
A late addendum from Dirck:
I was surprised to see my story about the Sixth Company car in the May Shipmate Column. Thanks for the consideration. An interesting thing happened as a result of your posting the story on our website. A lady who lives in Mayo, Maryland, where Dave's Corner, the bar we used to visit was, is interested in Mayo history and did a web search which uncovered our site and the story. She lived right next door to the site that Dave's stood on before burning down. You may remember that she routed a message through you to me.
We talked on the phone and it seems her husband, an artist, was going to do a painting of Dave's Corner from an old picture of the place that he had dug up somewhere. After talking to me her husband decided to include our car Chris in the painting. She invited me to join them for lunch sometime in the near future to learn more about Dave's and whatever other aspects of Mayo I may remember from over 40 years ago. Since it was dark and we were'nt seeing too well when we left Dave's on Saturday nights, I doubt I'll be much help. We did rent June Week cottages out there as well, as I mentioned in my earlier Ring Dance Great Escape T.I.N.S. tale. Maybe she can draw some history out of me.
Anyway, I have attached both the picture and a copy of the finished painting, for whatever you may want to do with them. From the images it easy to see how easily it probably burned when it got torched. Just thought that you'd be interested in what you wrought by posting that story on our website.
Painting of Dave's Corner with the '49 Chevy in front
|Dinner party in Newport, Rhode Island|
|"Elbow Benders Club" in Hong Kong, 1983|
|Army Game party at the Shelleys' house|
This page is
16 March 2006